One of the more charming aspects of Christmastime here in Valencia is the arrival of Bethlehem displays. Many are very elaborate and include motors, running water, and multiple scene perspectives. Like the Bethlehem scene made entirely of bottles that I reviewed last year or the scene in front of city hall, this year I found a very scenic Belén, or Bethlehem scene, in the middle of central market. Built in the round, the story of the nativity is displayed through clever scenery and perspective.

While in the middle of a very busy market, this Belén was a creative expression and worthy of a few moments to study and examine. People of all ages were taking a moment to enjoy a reminder of the Christmas story, regardless of their daily tasks. Additionally, you can see the distinctive arches of Mercado Central, one of the must-see places in Valencia, perhaps when it is not so busy! I tried to block out as much of the extraneous scenery as possible, but, to be honest, I think the mixture of the new and the historical, along with people in the background appearing in the arches and windows of the Belén adds to the context!

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The three wise men arriving…


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Hey, where did that Cheese Shop come from?

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I can tell that the Angel was Spanish, pretty much because it is descending from a cloud of hanging hams. Very Spanish, indeed!

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One of my favorites was the little faux leopard skin curing on posts. Some things just don’t transfer well to the miniature life, I suppose!

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I love the little hidden “peeks” that you can get with these displays, such as the Egyptian statue in the doorway. The artists spent a great deal of time providing plenty of “eye candy” for the viewers!

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